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After the Three Italies: Wealth, Inequality and Industrial Change

ISBN: 978-1-4051-2520-8
376 pages
December 2005, Wiley-Blackwell
After the Three Italies: Wealth, Inequality and Industrial Change (1405125209) cover image

Description

After the Three Italies develops a new political economy approach to the analysis of comparative regional development and the territorial division of labour and exemplifies it through an up-to-date account of Italian industrial change and regional economic performance.

  • Responds to recent theoretical debates in economic geography, involving economists, geographers and planners.
  • Builds the foundations for a new theoretical approach to regional economic development and the territorial division of labour.
  • Draws on the results of a recent ESRC funded research project, as well as on a large range of official data sets.
  • Provides an up-to-date picture of Italy‘s economic performance and of its recent development relative to other European countries and the rest of the world.
  • Analyses Italy's internal differentiation and its persistent regional inequalities.
  • Examines the regional impact of the recent evolution of the car, chemicals, steel and clothing industries.
  • Leads to a new and more complex picture of Italian development.
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Table of Contents

List of Figures xi

List of Tables xiv

Series Editors’ Preface xvii

Preface and Acknowledgements xviii

List of Abbreviations xxiii

1 Introduction: Growth, Inequality and the Territorial Division of Labour 1

Areal differentiation and development models 1

After the Three Italies 8

A new economic geography of uneven development 12

The structure of the book 15

2 Convergence, Divergence, Regional Economic Performance and the New Economic Geographies 17

Analyzing regional economic performance 17

Convergence or divergence 20

Territorial divisions of labour 26

Conclusions 39

3 Theorizing Regional Economic Performance and the Changing Territorial Division of Labour: Value Chains, Industrial Networks, Competition and Governance 41

Introduction 41

Basic and nonbasic industries 42

Explaining the dynamics of activities serving wider markets 43

Enterprises and their environment: establishing the frontiers/boundaries of the firm 50

Enterprises and their environment: interfirm relations 52

Modes of governance and growth 58

Conclusions 61

4 Growth and Inequality: The Political Economy of Italian Development 64

Introduction 64

Italy’s economy in its European and Mediterranean context 65

Official statistics, unrecorded activities and the measurement of output 70

GDP, net transfers and regional income 76

Territorial inequality in Italy at the turn of the millennium 80

Catching up, falling behind, surging ahead and losing ground: trends in Italian regional development 87

Conclusions 90

5 Institutional Dynamics and Regional Performance 92

Introduction 92

The institutional configuration and the characteristics of Italian capitalism 93

Institutional context and territorial development dynamics 97

Crime and territorial development 102

Changes in the 1990s: the political scene 104

Changes in the 1990s: the system of governance 107

Changes in the 1990s: debt reduction and privatization 111

Changes in the 1990s: territorial development policies 113

Concluding remarks: the implications of recent trends 124

6 Italian Regional Evolutions 128

Introduction 128

Italian regional evolutions 130

Comparative regional development 140

Comparative provincial development 147

Employment, productivity and investment 149

Economic specialization, exports and international integration 155

After the Three Italies: the origins and limits of the district model 159

Conclusions 169

7 Industrial Change and Regional Development: The Changing Sectoral Profile of Regional Development and the Evolving Regional Profile of Industrial Change 170

Introduction 170

The sectoral profile of regional economies 170

Sectoral structures and uneven development 173

The changing geography of vehicle manufacturing in Italy and the world 187

The changing geography of chemical manufacturing in Italy and the world 200

Conclusions 207

8 Globalization, Industrial Restructuring and the Italian Motor Vehicle Industry 209

Introduction 209

The FIAT Group: changing functions in the value chain and changing chains 210

Globalization and market-seeking investments 216

FIAT in Italy: technological and organizational upgrading and geographies of production 225

Outsourcing, redefining corporate boundaries and restructuring the supply chain 230

Crisis, markets and models 236

Conclusions 242

Afterword 243

9 Reconfiguring Industrial Activities and Places: The Italian Chemical Industry 244

Introduction 244

The Italian chemical industry and its changing position in the wider European and world context 245

History and characteristics of the Italian chemical industry 252

Trajectories of restructuring 255

The role of SMEs 262

Another aspect of the new international division of labour: foreign companies in Italy 264

Experiences and regional impacts of restructuring: the disengagement of the chemical industry in Puglia 266

From growth pole to industrial cemetery: the disengagement of the chemical industry from Basilicata 271

Conclusions 280

10 Conclusions and Further Remarks 282

Introduction 282

Geography as a spatial expression of a social order 282

Geography and development models 283

Contemporary perspectives on industrial change and regional economic performance 284

Theorizing industrial change and regional inequality: profit strategies and value chain upgrading 286

Areal differentiation and uneven development in Italy: from the north–south divide to the Three Italies and after 288

Economic decline and the limits of the district model 290

Industrial and regional performance 293

Conclusions: inequalities, territorial divisions of labour and profit strategies 294

References 296

Notes 312

Appendices 318

Subject Index 335

Author Index 343

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Author Information

Michael Dunford is Professor of Economic Geography at the University of Sussex. In 2000 he was elected member of the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences (AcSS). In 1996-2002 he was Editor of Regional Studies. In 2003 he received the Royal Geographical Society Edward Heath Award for geographical research in Europe. He has held Visiting Professorships at the universities of Pavia, Toulouse, Paris I: Panthéon-Sorbonne, Campinas in Brazil, Oslo and Sciences-Po in Paris. His previous publications include Cities and Regions in the New Europe (1992) and Successful European Regions: Northern Ireland Learning from Others (1996).

Lidia Greco is Lecturer in the Sociology of Economics and Labour Processes at the University of Bari, Italy. She previously worked at Trinity College, Dublin, where she carried out two EU-funded research projects. As a consultant, Lidia has worked for the University of Durham and the Sussex European Institute, and more recently for the European Union. She is the author of Industrial Redundancies: A Comparative Analysis of the Chemical and Clothing Industries in the UK and Italy (2002) and co-author of Building the European Research Area: European Socio-Economic Research in Practice (forthcoming).

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The Wiley Advantage


  • Responds to recent theoretical debates in economic geography, involving economists, geographers and planners.
  • Builds the foundations for a new theoretical approach to regional economic development and the territorial division of labour.
  • Draws on the results of a recent ESRC funded research project, as well as on a large range of official data sets.
  • Provides an up-to-date picture of Italy‘s economic performance and of its recent development relative to other European countries and the rest of the world.
  • Analyses Italy's internal differentiation and its persistent regional inequalities.
  • Examines the regional impact of the recent evolution of the car, chemicals, steel and clothing industries.
  • Leads to a new and more complex picture of Italian development.
See More

Reviews

"In their analytically original study, Dunford and Greco show that Italy today is divided predominantly into two regions (north and south) and that the development path of each region must necessarily be understood in relation to that of the other. These findings have major significance for political-economic geography well beyond the Italian case."
--John Agnew, University of California, Los Angeles

"A welcome and detailed dissection of the changing geography of economic growth and decline in Italy, that demonstrates the importance and theoretical value of understanding the dynamic micro-foundations of regional economic change."
--Professor Peter Sunley, School of Geography, University of Southampton


"The book is, in sum a good example of theoretically informed empirical research in economic geography, which is aware of and inspired by but also not unconditionally adhering to the dominant theories and approaches in the discipline ... The book by Dunford & Greco is one of these attempts aiming to bring together empirical analysis of regional economies and the social critique of global capitalism. The authors have accomplished this difficult task in a brilliant way and for this reason their book is ultimately recommended reading not only to those interested in issues of regional development in Southern Europe but more generally to all practitioners of economic geography and related disciplines."
--Royal Dutch Geographical Society

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